How to Water A Creative Drought

“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things” – Ray Bradbury

I can’t quite tell if it’s the warming of the weather, the time of the year, or something completely different, but I’ve had a really hard time being creative lately. The last few weeks have been full of false starts and frustrated crumpling of paper. Even my sermons these past few weeks have been nothing to write home about. It can get really discouraging. Part of being creative is experiencing the dry spells. They can be frequent and are always unwelcome, but they can also be beneficial in allowing us to re-focus.

Here are 5 things that can really help push through a creative drought.

1. Walk away – Step away from the computer, canvas, typewriter, piano, or whatever your creative medium is. If you’re spinning your wheels and not getting anywhere, walk away. Go do something else. Even if you’re on strict deadline, a 10 minute walk can clear your head and give you a fresh set of eyes to approach the task at hand.

2. Switch the routine – One of the things that was catching me up was I was trying to be creative in the afternoon. I would get my work done at the office in the morning and then come home and try to be creative. That was my routine and it was driving me into the ground. We’re all at our best in different parts of the day. For me, it’s mornings. So I’m trying something new: getting up early (before I go to work — novel idea, I know). I’ll let you know how it goes. Well… depending on how many posts come up in the next couple weeks, it’ll be fairly self-evident.

3. Change mediums – If you’re a writer, do something visual. Go visit an art museum. If you’re a painter, throw on some headphones and Coltrane and get lost. His album “A Love Supreme” is like seeing music in color. If you’re a musician, read some poetry — some Pablo Neruda or Adrienne Rich. Getting out of your familiar box can act as a reset button for your creativity. Plus it’s just fun.

4. Exercise – This goes along with the walking away. If you can walk, run, bike, or swim away, that’s all the better. When you get blood flowing and you get some new oxygen moving through your body, it is rejuvenating in a lot of ways — especially creativity. So if you have a creative block, get out and move a little.

5. Rest – Sometimes the best thing you can do for a creative block is to sleep. If you’re in creative work, odds are you don’t always get the sleep you need. So take a nap. Give yourself permission to go relax in a park. You can’t be on the go 24/7. There are some times when resting is just the best thing you can do.

What do you do to water your creative drought? What helps get your creative juices flowing? Leave a comment and let me know!

Cheers,
Eric

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